The Department of Health -Abu Dhabi (DoH) has included laboratories of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) in the response system to emergencies of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), after assessing the competency level of the technical personnel and laboratory equipment, and ensuring the labs' ability to safely address high-risk pathogens and respond to such emergencies.
Commenting on this initiative, Dr. Salama Suhail Al Muhairi, Director of ADAFSA's Veterinary Laboratories Division, says" Our team has been working to create specialised contribution in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic within their role in enhancing the biosecurity system. The initiative also comes in line with the UAE supreme leadership's directives to consolidate efforts in combating COVID-19 as well as devoting all resources to provide testing services according to the international standards.
"Represented by laboratories division, ADAFSA has activated the internal emergency plan and contributed to reducing the time of conducting tests from 4 hours to 85 minutes using modern and integrated technologies. This is a new important success attained by ADAFSA in the field of biosecurity," Al Muhairi said.
Furthermore, ADAFSA increased the capacity of collecting samples up to 1,000 per day, to support the UAE's precautionary efforts and measures in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.
Earlier, Al Muhairi participated in a group of experts formed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to develop a guide for veterinary laboratories in all countries worldwide, with the aim of addressing emergencies of COVID-19 and backing health entities in combating this pandemic.
To develop global guide, guidelines and standards, ADAFSA's laboratory technicians participates in a number of the OIE's committees, including those dedicated for maintain business continuity, applying quality and biosecurity systems in veterinary laboratories, addressing animal disease, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.